As Hungary struggles to deal with tens of thousands of refugees that have crossed into its borders in an attempt to flee the civil war in Syria, the Prime Minister of the landlocked Central European country has called for a financial aid package for Syria’s neighbors to help them better tackle the crisis.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants the European Union to give 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) to countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan in an aid package that would potentially end the mass migration to Europe, BBC reported. Nearly 150,000 refugees are estimated to have crossed Hungary's border so far this year, but people found to be illegally entering the country will be arrested starting next week.
“We have a plan, which I will submit to the EU at our next meeting,” Orban said in an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper Saturday, adding that every EU country can contribute an extra 1 percent to the budget, or the union can reduce its spending by 1 percent to help raise the required fund.
“They did not come to Europe because they are looking for security, but they want a better life... The living conditions in Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria do not appeal to them,” Orban said.
The Hungarian leader’s remarks followed Friday's announcement that the country would introduce stronger immigration laws starting Sept. 15 to cope with the worsening refugee crisis. Orban said that thousands of refugees in the past few weeks had “rebelled” against the Hungarian police force while trying to enter the country.
Meanwhile, human rights organizations have criticized Hungary over its construction of a razor-wire fence along its borders with Serbia, as well as for poor conditions in its various refugee camps.